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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Morning Musings

So, I'm sitting in my living room right now thinking about what to write on my overdue blog. Outside the birds sing and call, which is great because we've had so much rain lately that the birds hardly ever come out to sing anymore. Even on this overcast day I hear the lovely twittering birdsong. Out my back door the azaleas are starting to bloom, and of course the dogwood trees that make my allergies miserable. Spring is finally here.

Last week was Easter and I probably should have post then, but hey I'm thinking about it now. What a beautiful world we have to live in. Thank you, my Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you for your Atoning Sacrifice that allows me to find joy in the crazy world we live in. Thank you for your Resurrection which gives me hope, just like the little birds sing and have hope for the day.

We have so much to be thankful for in this world and today I am thankful!


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Dear Editor


Dear Characters,

How do you do it? How do you make me feel every emotion possible? How do I not explode when I read or write your stories? You make me crazy. . .  maybe I am crazy. That's it. It's official. I'm crazy!

Insanely yours,
Author



Dear Social Media Marketing,

I'm tired. I wish you would do all the work yourself, but alas, that is not possible. Now back to all that posting, tweeting, and blogging. . .  oh wait, I am blogging. Good. That's something. Right?

Exhaustedly,
Writer



Dear Punctuation,

I. Hate. You.

Enough said,
Novelist



Dear Editor,

Why do I feel like no matter how many times I go through my manuscript that there still needs to be things fixed. Will it ever be done? Will I ever finish? 

Doubtfully,
Author



Dear . . . ?

Wait. What just happened?

Sincerely,
Confused


Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Fools

Have you ever thought about all the crazy holidays that we have here in America? Seriously. I want to create a holiday, and not just in one of my books. I want a holiday that will celebrate something totally bizarre. Oh wait, we already have that. It's April Fools day.

According to Wikipedia (I know, it isn't always the most accurate resource, but I'm being lazy today)

April Fools' Day (sometimes called All Fools' Day) is celebrated every year on April 1 by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. The jokes and their victims are called April fools. People playing April Fool jokes expose their prank by shouting April Fool. Some newspapers, magazines, and other published media report fake stories, which are usually explained the next day or below the news section in small letters. Although popular since the 19th century, the day is not a public holiday in any country.
Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales (1392) contains the first recorded association between April 1 and foolishness.

Who knew it's been around this long. But really a who day to celebrate pranks, jokes, and overall foolishness. I think it's really all about how happy we are to see spring after a long rainy winter and then the weather does a crazy turn shouting "Ha, April Fools!"

Whatever the origin, we have a crazy holiday that celebrates the bizarre. On to the next odd thing . . .


Friday, March 31, 2017

Seeress and the Stone

A few more chapters, since I am so far behind.









Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I'm back with an awesome recommendation!!! Cinder Heart by Amy Linnabary

I'm back

AAAAAnd to start off 2017 (yes, I know it's the end of March) I'm sharing my review of an absolutely fantastic book: Cinder Heart by Amy Linnabary.

Sixteen-year-old Gabriella just wants to finish high school without ticking off her stepmom and being forced out of her father’s house. When she finds out she’s the girl prophesied about in the fairytale Cinderella, her world gets turn upside-down.
Things get worse when the cute senior, Hal Charm, finally discovers that she exists. Add a fairy godmother, the powers of fire and speed, and a villain other than her stepmom and Gabbie’s life goes up in flames.
Now she's forced to decide between ignoring her destiny to save her friendships, or risking discovery to become the hero she needs to be.



Awesome!!! It has been interesting reading all the different retellings of fairytales and this story blew all the rest away! It was neat to see how Amy Linnabary created different twists and turns to the classic Cinderella story that made me completely unable to put the book down. I enjoyed seeing Gabbie as she dealt with her impossible step-mom and step-sister, but it also broke my heart to see how things suddenly got worse and worse. And her powers! That was awesome!

I also love that Mr. Charm wasn't all that you'd expect from your prince charming. The story was masterfully done and I look forward to reading more Fairytale prophecies books in the future!!!

Check out my review and find the book on Amazon!!!

Check out this fantastic author!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

My year in a letter! Merry Christmas

 Dear Family, Friends, and Fans!!!

Wow! This year has been so amazing. I have been so blessed in many, many ways. I have had ups and downs just like every other year, but I have also been given many opportunities and blessings this year to balance it all out.

To start out 2016 I had some excellent reviews posted about The Ring of Remaliha and one was in the Deseret News. This was a fun experience to have since I didn't solicit the review.

I also had a fun book signing at the Garland Library in Garland, UT.


In May I was able to attend my first LDStorymakers Conference. I had a wonderful time with good friends and I even met a few famous ones.

Nan Marie Swapp, Me, and Michelle Wilson
Brandon Sanderson and Me
I learned so much and actually had a literary agent ask for another manuscript. Unfortunately nothing came of that, but I have lots of hope for the future.

In September I was able to take the trip of a lifetime with my best friend, Dawn, and my dad. We spent sixteen days in Europe visiting six countries. 

We got the last three premium seats (flying standby does have its perks)


and started in Amsterdam touring the city. I have never seen so many bikes in one place in my life.

welcome to Amsterdam


And then we took a tour of Northern Holland.

Zaanse Schans windmill city.

After Amsterdam we took a flight from AMS to Berlin. Our visit in this city was so much fun, more so because we got to see Li Toeppe. She was an exchange student that stayed with my family my senior year of high school and a great friend. This was the best part of Berlin.
My dad, Li, and me.
Brandenburg Gate or Checkpoint Charlie.
It was really neat to have the chance to walk from East Germany to West Germany. A humbling experience.

The Berlin wall.
After Berlin we took a train from Berlin to Prague. As cities go, Prague was my favorite. There was something about the city that I loved. I really enjoyed the architecture and history of the city.

Prague from across the river.
St. Charles Bridge 

After a day and a half in Prague we took another train to Vienna. I was really excited to see Vienna because of what I wrote about in my WW2 books. Seeing the University and the sites of the city brought my books to life.

Me at the University in Vienna.


At the train station.
From Vienna we took another train to Munich. We didn't stay in Munich, but instead rented a car and drove through the Bavarian countryside to see the castles (Schloss).

Schloss Hohenschwangau


Schloss Neuschwanstein
You could see 

Neuschwanstein from Hohenschwangau


So heading up to Neuschwanstein there is a path that goes to a bridge that gives a beautiful view of the castle. This bridge is crazy! I'm not a fan of heights, but this bridge pushed me over the edge. As soon as I stepped out onto it the boards gave just enough to put me in an absolute panic.

Schloss Lindenhof.
The Bavarian countryside and castles were one of my favorite parts of our trip. I told my dad that I wanted a castle. Don't think that will happen, at least not in this life. :)

From the castles we drove to Salzburg. Another visit that made my books come to life. I loved Salzburg. The city was enchanting and full of life.

Our hotel just outside Salzburg.

View from the fortress.


We took a tram up the mountainside. Crazy high, freaky high, terrifyingly high. Yeah, after the stupid bridge near the castles, this wasn't the best experience, but the view was amazing!!!


View from the tram.
From Salzburg we drove south toward the Italian coast. We stopped off at Golling Waterfall in Austria. We also stopped at Aquiliea, Italy where they have Roman ruins that date waaaaaay back. It was really neat.

Golling Wasserfal
Ruins at Aquiliea
From Aquiliea we drove down to Venice, parked the car in the big lot right as you get on the island and took a boat bus into the city. This whole place is on the water. It really fascinated me. We had fun exploring the cities and canals.

Piazza San Marco.
Our very expensive gondola ride. 



No photos! Oops!

After a day and a half in Venice we drove across the top of Italy toward Milan. We didn't go into Milan, but stayed outside the city and spent the day near the lakes in Arona.


From Milan we took a flight to Paris. Short flight, early morning. Paris was absolutely amazing. We spent three days and didn't even see a portion of the sights. Day one we got to go up to Disneyland Paris. 



Day two we explored some of the city. We tried to go to church, which was just around the corner, but they were having stake conference later than we had time available. We had an appointment at the Louvre. We stopped at the Arc de Triumph just before our visit to the Louvre.

Arc de Triumph
The Mona Lisa. Crazy how much excitement there was over this small painting.

Day three we got a chance to see the Eiffel tower, all the way to the top. We even ate one of the best meals I had in Europe up there. The view was crazy awesome as well and of course made my stomach twist in knots from the height. I didn't think it looked so big. It is!!!




We also got a chance to see Notre Dame. The inside was amazing. There was a spirit there that I thought was missing in many of the massive cathedrals that we visited. 



Seeing the city lit up at night was a neat experience as well. We flew home from Paris and luckily my dad got the last premium seat to Seattle. We were grateful that the seats were open and we made it home.



This trip was so awesome. I wish we had more time to see more of Europe. I hope to visit more countries in the future. I am grateful for the opportunity we had to travel and I'm grateful that I could take my dad along, though we about walked him to death. I'm also very grateful for our wonderful friend, Caitlin who babysat the dogs the whole sixteen days. You are a life saver, Caitlin. It was an amazing trip!

This was an excellent start to my fall. Come October 1st my third book Crossing Lines hit the Deseret Book shelves.


On October 1st I was able to participate in a book signing at the Portland Deseret Book for ladies night. It was great evening spent with the wonderful folks there at the store.

Toward the end of October I was able to attend the Northwest Writer's Retreat in Rosario Beach, WA. I love this retreat because it's a chance to renew myself and learn more about my writing craft. I love spending these days with my writing friends.





When I got back to Portland, fall had struck leaving my car covered in leaves.


My year has been filled with flying (for my job), flying for fun, writing, conferences, and book signings. I did get some writing done between editing. For November NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I actually met the 50,000 word goal. Though I didn't write it all in November, I did write and I have another book to add to the many to edit and hopefully someday publish.

At the beginning of December I had the chance to fly home for another signing at the Deseret Book in Logan, UT as well as spend some quality time with my family in Utah. It was a beautiful beginning to the Christmas season.




Shauna Wheelwright and Me at the Deseret Book signing. Thank you, Shauna!!!

This is the first year that I have had a line. In Flight Attendant lingo, that means I have a full schedule and no reserve days and because of how much Portland has grown I have enough seniority to get days off that I want, for the most part. This year is my first with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years off. I've loved this Christmas season and have felt the bounteous joys of the holidays and blessings of this time of year. 

I have been watched over and blessed in so many ways and I'm grateful for all that the Lord has given  me. I've been so so very blessed. My year has been amazing and full of joy. I am so glad to be here in Portland, for my friends, family, and co-workers. For my job that allows me to do the things I love and see so many awesome places. And of course my little boys who keep me warm on these cold winter nights!!!






I'm grateful to all my fans who support my writing and continue to encourage me. I hope to have lots of good things come about in the next year. Thank you all!!!

Merry Christmas! May the Lord bless you all!

Love,